Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New Reviews for Jane Austen Lives Again and a Giveaway!

Jane Austen Lives Again
I'm absolutely thrilled with the fabulous reviews I'm getting for Jane Austen Lives Again - I'd like to thank Serena Agusto-Cox from Savvy, Verse and Wit, and Katie Patchell writing for Austenprose, for taking the time to review my book. Thank you also to Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose for selecting Jane Austen Lives Again for Best Austenesque Paranormal/Fantasy Novel 2015

In celebration, I have two paperback copies to give away! Please leave a comment below, telling me which video book trailer you like best of the two at the end of this post - closing date for entering will be a week from today - February 10th and the winner announced shortly after.

From the desk of Serena Augusto-Cox

Jane Austen Lives Again by Jane Odiwe requires readers to suspend disbelief, and those fans of Jane Austen who wish she had written more than her 6 novels will surely have no problem doing that.  Her death is averted by her physician, who has discovered the secret to immortal life with the help of the Turritopsis dohrnii in 1817.  When Austen awakens she is in 1925, just after The Great War.  Many families, included rich families, have fallen on hard times and experienced great loss as many lost sons, brothers, and husbands in the war.  Times have changed for women, and Austen is able to get work outside the home to support herself, and although her family has passed on and she’s effectively alone in the world, she pulls up her hem and gets to work as a governess to five girls at Manberley Castle near the sea in Stoke Pomeroy.
“Having lived cautiously, and under strict rules and regulations for so long, Miss Austen felt the winds of change blowing across the Devon landscape.”
Cora, Emily, Alice, Mae, and Beth are a bit more to handle than Austen expects, especially as she is a little younger than she had been before the procedure.  Upon her arrival, Austen is faced with staff who are eager to gossip, which rubs her the wrong way because she prefers to make up her own mind about people.  The heir to the castle, William Milton, is one person who keeps her on her toes, and as Austen gets caught up in the drama of others, she begins to realize that her life would be empty without the Miltons in it.
Odiwe is one of the best writers of Jane Austen-related fiction, and it shows as she weaves in Austen’s own novels into her own novel.  EmmaSense & SensibilityPride & Prejudice, and more are illustrated in a variety of situations here, and Austen is at the center of them all.  However, readers should be warned that Odiwe is not rehashing these plots point for point.  Jane Austen Lives Again by Jane Odiwe is her best novel yet, and if there were something to complain about, it would be that it could have been longer.

From the desk of Katie Patchell:
What would Jane Austen say and do if she lived in the 1920s instead of the late 1700s/early 1800s? Would she wear a drop-waist dress that showed her ankles and bob her auburn hair? Would she dance the Charleston or listen to Jazz music? How would she react to being called ‘baby doll’? And would being handed into the front seat of a car by a young, eligible man just as romantic as being handed into a Regency carriage? These fascinating questions and more are imaginatively answered in Jane Odiwe’s latest novel, Jane Austen Lives Again, where readers—and Jane Austen herself—are transported to the chaotic, electrifying Jazz Age.
1817: After days of sickness, Jane Austen closes her eyes on this world for the last time. Or so she thinks. When she opens them again—to her, only a few moments later—her doctor informs her that he found the secret to immortal life, and the year is…
1925: Post re-birth and after months reading modern newspapers, watching Hollywood films, and listening to Jazz music, Jane convinces Dr. Lyford that it’s time she takes her first steps to becoming an independent woman of the 20th century. A post as a governess for the five young daughters of Lord and Lady Milton seems just the thing.
I’ve never felt better. I feel as if I am about to start a new adventure, even if the thought of five little girls is a disquieting one. More than anything, I will have the time to write all the novels I thought were to be denied to me, and I will endure anything to that end.” (Chapter 1, Location 104)
On her arrival at the beautiful but crumbling Manberley Castle, Jane discovers that the adventure that awaits her is of an entirely different sort. Rather than having to take care of five young children, she’s been given the time-consuming and hectic job of being a governess to five young adult women, some a few years older than her (seemingly) 21 year old self!
But Jane has always loved a challenge, whatever the century. She soon gets swept up in the daily life of a quirky bohemian family and the romantic entanglements of five heroines—not to mention the attentions of William Milton, their irrepressibly charming, teasing, and oh-so-frustrating elder brother. Can Jane give her not-so-young charges the happy endings they deserve, even if they can’t see it themselves? Will she ever be able to find the time to pick up her pen (or typewriter) to write again? And in the midst of the Milton chaos and “modern” 1920s world, will she find love and happiness in her second chance at life?
Two major things were done in Jane Austen Lives Again that made it marvelous: Jane as the novel’s protagonist, and character similarities with Austen’s originals. Because of her supernatural awakening a century after Jane’s supposed death, she is given the chance to be the heroine of her own story. While I’ve loved other books starring Jane Austen that are set in her own time (such as Carolyn V. Murray’s beautiful 2015 debut, Jane by the Sea), getting the chance to see Jane in a different time period was a rare treat—especially in 1920s Devon, England. Transplanting her—the inimitable, fearless, sparkling Jane Austen we all know and love—to a different setting was a genius move. Odiwe skillfully kept Jane’s personality (and history through moments of back story) but enabled her to grow as a heroine.
At the same time, Jane Austen Lives Again is also a reimagining of most of the main love stories in Jane Austen’s novels. The five Milton women were reimaginings of Anne Elliot, Marianne Dashwood, Emma Woodhouse, Elizabeth Bennet, and Jane Bennet. While these main characters followed their original plotlines closely, sometimes they (and the men I thought they’d end up with) varied from their original characters or merged with others (such as the “Frank Churchill” character combining with “Willoughby”). This was handled with ease on Odiwe’s part, and kept me guessing—and highlighting my Kindle copy because of new character insights—until the final pages.
In its humor, family shenanigans, and determined heroine, Jane Austen Lives Again is reminiscent of Cold Comfort Farm, a hilarious, dazzling classic by Stella Gibbons. Yet at the same time, it stays true to Jane Austen and her novels in spirit—and still more, manages to stand apart from these as a unique novel of love, family, and laughter.
With a remarkable setting and gorgeous descriptions, memorable characters and a message of happy endings and new beginnings, Jane Austen Lives Again is a perfect read for Christmas and New Year’s.
5 out of 5 Stars






42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane, Thank you for the chance to win this wonderful book! Such a hard decision to make as both trailers are so good! Having to choose, I would have to say the second...reminiscent of 20's era films swayed me. Looking forward to reading Jane Austen Lives Again!

Lynn F

Jane Odiwe said...

Lovely to see you here and thank you for leaving a comment Lynn-I'll add your name to the hat!

Vesper Meikle said...

I liked them both but will pick the second as my favourite

TessQ said...

Everything you do is always creative and classy, Jane! That said, I think I liked the first one for the colors and the sense of movement. Looking forward to reading this one!

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Vesper and Tess Q for stopping by - I enjoyed making the book trailers-glad you like them!

Kirk said...

The first one! I agree with TessQ about the colors. As I've already read and loved the book(and received a lovely prize from you in another giveaway), no need to include me.

Anji said...

What a difficult choice you've given us, Jane. I love the colours of the first but the second is more evocative of the Twenties style of photos and films. Please can I sit on the fence?

I've heard such good things about your book but it's still on my Wish List right now so to win a copy would be fantastic.

Marianne said...

They are both good but I prefer the first one with its colour and energy.

traveler said...

What a delightful and special feature and giveaway. I enjoyed both trailers but the first one is my favorite. Your book sounds captivating and wonderful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Jane Odiwe said...

Kirk-lovely to see you here. Thank you for stopping by!

Angie, thank you-I know what you mean. I really liked the look of the black and white one, but it wouldn't let me upload colour photos-hence my reason for doing two. It would have been great if I could have mixed them both together.

Thank you, Marianne!

Thank you for your kind comments, traveler!

petite said...

I was captivated with such artistic and impressive trailers. I enjoyed the black and white one very much, although the first one is so colorful. I have a thing for black and white photos and movies since they are nostalgic of the period. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, petite-I'm so glad you enjoyed them! Your name is in the hat!

PdxIrishGirl said...

Think they are both absolutely charming!
While the 2nd definitely has that 20's art
deco look, I think the brightness and sprightliness of the 2nd are better for a Jane-
inspired novel. The 2nd was just happier to me.

Lynn Bischoff said...

I have to say that I liked the coloured one better, though both are lovely. The book sounds very intriguing. I look forward to reading it.

Jane Odiwe said...

Lovely to see you here again PdxIrishGirl and Lynn. Thank you for your comments-I've added your names to the hat!

Ceri T said...

Well, I think the same as Anji; I love the colours of the first one, and I think they go wonderfully well with the book cover, but the second one is pure 20s. I think the colour one edges it for me, but they are both fun and fabulous :)

junewilliams7 said...

I prefer the second trailer. While the first trailer has brighter colors and a cheerier feeling, I don't think the story is that light-hearted - Jane awakens alone, with all her family gone and she is left in poverty. So I think the second trailer - with its muted colors - a better choice.

J Dawn King said...

This is a tough one as they both have stand-out qualities. First or second? 1st or 2nd? The colorful one made me smile. The black and white oozed romance and drama. For that reason I pick the b/w. Well done, Jane. You have an incredibly artistic eye.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you so much for visiting and for your lovely comments, Ceri, June and Joy! I've added your names to the hat.

Maria said...

I prefer the second one. As other people have said, the first one is more funny and colourful, but the second video reminds me more of the 20'. :) I thought about The Great Gatsby while watching it!

doremijen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
doremijen said...

Hi Jane I love the first trailer because it matches the book cover so well. I already purchased the book so you won't need to include me in the contest. Best Wishes with your publication. Jen Red

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Maria-it's good to get a different perspective!

Jen, thank you for buying the book-so kind of you- I hope you enjoy it!

Julia BookReader said...

#1! Love the colours and the graphics...pure romance!!

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Julia for stopping by and leaving a lovely comment!

Avid_Eva said...

Hi Jane! Looking forward to reading this one, those are great reviews too! I wondered if the art in the first ad was your daughter's? As many others have said, it's lovely and colourful, but I think I'd have to go with the B&W 20s film style, I thought that just had the edge for me and I loved the sparkle effect too - don't be bitter, glitter!!

Avid_Eva said...

Hi Jane! Looking forward to reading this one, those are great reviews too! I wondered if the art in the first ad was your daughter's? As many others have said, it's lovely and colourful, but I think I'd have to go with the B&W 20s film style, I thought that just had the edge for me and I loved the sparkle effect too - don't be bitter, glitter!!

Jane Odiwe said...

Hi Avid Eva- no, the artwork comes as part of it- if you go to Animoto website you'll see the different options there are for making videos-all you have to do is choose and upload photos and text. You could use them for invitations and all sorts of things, as well as book trailers. I've been very lucky-every time I wanted to make one, there has been a theme which fits. Thank you for your lovely comments!

Monica said...

The first trailer is colourful and has nice images, but I think I prefer the second one: the sparkling gives it more movement, more swing.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Monica-it's very interesting to see how this is panning out! Thank you for stopping by.

Lúthien84 said...

Thank you very much for the chance to win the book, Jane. I prefer the first trailer as I love colours more than monotone.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Luthien84 for stopping by-I shall add your name to the hat!

Nicole said...

I really enjoy the first video, with all the colour and flowers. It seems more Jane - Austen and Odiwe! I'm slowly making my way through the book (but with all my school reading I'm lucky to get a page read of fun stuff in a week!)

Tinkerbellee said...

I thought the premise of this book was fantastic from the first time I heard about it - would love to win it! As far as the trailers go, I think the second is my favourite: the first is a bit TOO "peppy" to fit in with my feeling about Austen.

Karen Holt

Milica Milivojevic said...

The first trailer is beautiful and has nice images, but I prefer the second one.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Nicole, Tinkerbellee and Milica-good to see you here! Thank you for your kind comments-I'll add your names to the hat!

Deborah Ann said...

I loved this book. A phenomenal story about Jane in the 1920's, how she got there and what she did. What a wonderful piece of storytelling, Jane! Please do not enter me. No already have a copy.

Deborah Ann said...

I not no.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Deborah Ann- you're so kind to leave such a lovely message, and I'm thrilled you enjoyed it so much!

Deborah Ann said...

Both trailers are excellent, but the second, I believe, is the better one. It screams 1920's. Oh, and I am embarrassed to say I have the ebook, not the paperback, so could you please enter me and pretend I never said the last sentence in my first comment.

Ana said...

I think I prefer the first one better because the second one reminds me too much to the Great Gatsby (it is lovely as well though).

Thank you for the giveaway!!

I have to say that Lady Cathereine would be so proud as there is a governess for five daughters ;)

Jane Odiwe said...

Deborah Ann, I will add your name to the hat, but please don't be embarrassed!

Ana, thank you-I love your comment about Lady Catherine!